Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P582 (10-23-20)
As you grow in Christ, you will certainly have questions. It is so good to be able to talk to a person who has been in Christ longer than you have and has proven to rightly divide the word of God. Yes, and if he is a solid teacher, he is not going to merely teach you what he thinks, but will point you to Christ and the scriptures so you can see for yourself what God has said. Then, you, having the Spirit of God in you, are in a position to allow the Spirit to reveal truth to you. That is how we all grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we come to understand the meaning of God’s word, then we are able to take every thought captive to the obedience to Christ and are not easily swayed by the opinions or traditions of men, those who have fine sounding arguments but yet not based on truth. So then we are no longer tossed and turned by every wind of doctrine, but become stable in our faith and productive in our walk. We learn to discern what is from our flesh and what is from the Spirit. And the Lord Himself lives in us to guide us into all truth, for we are His child. And we can rest in Him, that He will not allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to endure, and with any temptation, He provides a way out that we can stand. What tender and loving care that God has for us.
As we grow, there are certain foundational truths that we must grasp, the finality of the cross, of being made complete in Christ, that we live under a new covenant of grace and not under an old covenant of law. Being under law is what spurs on sin, because it feeds on what the flesh can do. But apart from Christ we can do nothing. But under grace, your mind is on Christ, who is full of grace and truth. He is our life. It is out of total dependence on Christ that you bear the fruit of the Spirit in your daily living. We do not work to produce fruit by beating our flesh into submission to rules and regulations and principles. Instead, we live by a relationship with the living God, who leads us internally, that gentle and quiet Spirit, the voice of your Father, who spurs you on. And the body of Christ is here for one another, to spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
So listen as Bob encourages a man in how to speak to a friend of his who is into fruit inspection, a judgmental attitude toward others and an attitude of self righteousness. The way to walk is by faith, walking in love in accordance with John 15 and allowing the fruit of the Spirit to work in you and through you. The Spirit of God is at work, and your job is to let the Spirit of grace work in you, and you will see a difference in attitude in your relationships with other people. Instead of looking at how someone else fails to measure up, think about how you measure up to what God says is the only that counts is love, and look more intently at 1 Corinthians 13, God’s definition of love and see how you are doing in the love department. That should be an eye opener of how you and I, all of us, need to depend on Christ to do something we can never do.
Listen as Bob talks to several other callers, answering questions on different passages of scriptures they were struggling to understand. One caller asked about how you know when you hear from God? Another caller asked about how to work with his wife in regard to assessing whether this particular church is where they should be? And what happens when we die?
Ron from Phoenix, AZ
Ron: I have been listening to you for twenty years. This is the first time I called you.
Bob: Thanks for your call. Sorry it took you so long to call, but I am so glad you called.
Ron: As a born again believer, as someone who has the Spirit of Christ living in me, when thoughts come into my mind, I cannot assume they are all from Him, can I?
Ron: How do I distinguish mine versus His versus demonic thoughts, even?
Bob: I think it is very easy, Ron. You have the word of God and you know the word of God and the counsel of God living inside of you is going to identify whether you are thinking in the flesh or whether you are thinking in the Spirit. You know that as well as anybody.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Bob: You find a lot of people and they will kid themselves. I have had a lot of people who have done that. A person says, “I am counseling this person because I love them so much” but what they really want to do is get a relationship with someone. They know that but they still do it. So you have to be very careful and be honest with yourself. When you know the truth, you know when God is putting truth in your mind, and who is putting that there. When you have thoughts, those lustful thoughts, you know full well who the is doing that, the enemy of your soul is trying to throw you off.
Ron: Alright. Okay.
Ron: In situations where I have a family member or loved one who is ill, maybe the thoughts come into my mind saying something like, “Ron, you have nothing to worry about. This person will be okay. Or this person will be healed.” Those are the thoughts that I so badly want to hear. But Jesus does not tell us specifics of the future does He? He just tells us to trust him, right?
Bob: I will look at those types of things as what God is trying to lead you to do, and Satan is trying to pull you off, which is to get you to believe a lie. The truth is that decision of whether a person is going to be healed or not is in the hands of God. You have to leave it there, Ron. “Lord, you know what my will is. My will is for this person to be healed and restored. But it is not my will, but yours be done. I do not want my prayers answered. I want your will in my life to be done. So I am leaving that in your hands and trusting you with it.” That is what truth is.
Ron: So when thoughts come into my mind saying, “Trust me, Ron, I am working out all things for your good to conform you to My image.”, then I should I assume those are coming from the Spirit of God?
Bob: Absolutely. It is truth, isn’t it?
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Bob: So when those thoughts come in they are just confirming those truths to you.
Ron: Okay. Can I ask another question?
Ron: As far as thoughts, I heard another pastor or preacher say that when the Spirit talks to me, He is not carrying on a conversation. “Hey, Ron.”, then His thoughts would be coming in as my thoughts. Is that true? Or, is that unknown?
Bob: Ron, we have our thoughts and we have his thoughts. We have the privilege of participating in the divine nature that lives in us. We have the privilege of participating in God’s very nature.
2 Peter 1:3-4
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Bob: So God is there with His truth. The Holy Spirit is truth. He is going to lead you into all truth.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
Bob: That is why it is so important for you to know what the word of God is, because if you do not know the word of God, you will not know truth, and you will be struggling all the time in regard to who is talking to me. But if I know the word of God, then I am not wondering.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
Bob: Who is speaking to me? I do not have to wonder. I know who is speaking to me. That is why it is vitally important we know what the word of God says. The reason you have so many people confused is by keeping people away from the word of God and instead have them depend on feelings and experiences, which do not necessarily coordinate with the word of God. A person will be a double-minded man, unstable in all ways, who lives for feelings instead of living by faith in truth that is revealed to us by Christ Jesus.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Bob: Continue to know what truth is, Ron. Again, walk in it.
3 John 1:3-4
3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
2 John 1:6
6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
Bob: I think you are working at it too hard, personally. It sounds to me that you are working at it too hard. Relax. God does not want us grunting and groaning this life out. He wants us to relax. If there is a thought that is not of Him, He will point that out to you in due time. When He does, acknowledge it and get your mind where it belongs, on Him.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing
Ron: Yes, I think I have been working on it too hard instead of relaxing and abiding in Him.
Bob: Take a vacation in Jesus.
Ron: Thank you very much, Bob. I really appreciate it like I do always.
Bob: You are welcome, Ron. Call again. Do not wait so long. Do not wait another twenty years. I may not be here.
Ron: It was not as tough as I thought. I may just call again.
Mark from Pasadena, TX
Mark: I have a question on 1 Corinthians 15:22-26.
1 Corinthians 15:22-26
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Mark: Sort of like about being absent from the body and present with the Lord. But some say that according to this scripture, we are asleep until Christ comes a second time?
Bob: This verse is not talking about end times. It is talking about what happens when you die. It is talking about Christ being raised from the dead. How can some of you say there is no resurrection from the dead?
1 Corinthians 15:16-19
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Bob: So he is talking about what happens at death.
1 Corinthians 15:20-23
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man [Adam], the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man [Jesus]. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits [early apostles]; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
Bob: Again, I just get back to what is in the scriptures.
2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Bob: It talks about a body that is sewn perishable and is raised imperishable.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:50
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Bob: I, quite frankly, believe that because it says flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God and the perishable does not inherit the imperishable, that I believe that it means this body of ours, there is nothing about it that will go into the kingdom of God. It goes into the grave, dies and becomes worm food. But we get a glorified body and that happens at the time we die, when we are absent from the body and present with the Lord. I do not believe we suddenly become homeless.
1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Bob: Therefore, we are given our heavenly home, which Jesus says I go to prepare for you. I believe that all takes place at the very time we leave this earth. Now at the end times, those of us who preceded those that will be left until the rapture will certainly not precede those who died before us. We will be with Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Bob: The chance of me being with Jesus before the rapture comes is very likely at my age. I will already be with Jesus. When He comes back in the sky, I will be with Him. Then those who are left at the time of the rapture will go to meet Him in the air. Of course, in most of our teaching, it is that these bodies will go to meet all of us who are already there in the air. But I think differently on that. I do not know if I believe this one a hundred percent, but I do know our body will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Bob: So if your body is not going into the presence of God, then why would we think that at the rapture our body goes. Unless on the way up, and will have to be a real quick one, to get a transformed body on the way up. That is what He would have to do if flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It also could be a rapture that the real you, soul and spirit, go to meet Jesus in the air along with all of us, and get your glorified body. The real body stays here on earth. That means all the heathen are going to have to bury us. If that is the case, but certainly a possibility of an anti-Christ who will be Muslim, will be saying, “You see there. God killed all these rotten dirty heathenist Christians. It is only those who worship Allah who will remain behind”, and so will twist that as if that was God’s judgment on Christianity. I do not see anything illogical about that possibility. I am not saying it is or it is not. I am just saying it sounds very feasible to me.
Does that help, Mark?
Bob: Is that it?
Mark : Yes.
Bob: Thanks, Mark. God bless. Bye. Bye.
Mark: Before I got married, my wife and I used to go to a smaller church. Now we moved to another side of town, to a bigger church. She thinks the church is too big. She says that I should look for a smaller church because that one is too big. Is she supposed to follow me, or what am I supposed to do?
Bob: Mark, the way in which a biblical marriage works is that two people are going to discuss things. The size of a church should not be that big of a deal unless you are talking about a mega church. Why is the size of church important if just dealing with size. I would not use size as a criteria as to where I go to church. What I would use as to what is being taught as the criteria.
Bob: Again, in many of your large mega churches, I hate to say this, but not all, you have a lot of times where people are just preaching to itching ears. They are essentially preaching what people want to hear. That is how they build the big church. That is what the masses want to hear. In order to draw numbers, you preach what the masses want to hear. The mass does not want to hear that we are sinners. In many instances, a mass does not want to hear that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Masses want to hear good and positive stuff. Well, I do not believe, quite frankly, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God is not something I would call a positive statement. It is a true statement, but I would not think that would be considered a positive thought in the positive thinking crowd. I would think more about what truth is being taught rather than the size of church. But I would inquire about that. Why do you want a smaller church? She has her reasons. If you are okay toward other things, and that is where you need to be, then she needs to understand that as well and follow that.
Mark: They do teach truth but the problem is that it is 60,000 members. The ones told her that she has not got to meet anybody. She has only gone about six times. Maybe she should give it more time. I do not have any idea. I already became a member of that church.
Bob: I tell you if you are talking about that kind of membership, you got programs out of your ears and entertainment. Many times such people forget that message of feeding the sheep rather than entertaining the flock. I would agree probably with her analysis. I think, many times in a smaller congregation, they are teaching truth. How do you know for sure if truth is being taught? Are they teaching the finality of the cross? Are they teaching people to ask for something they already have? Are they teaching people there is a new covenant and an old covenant? We do not live under an old covenant. Do they teach tithing? That is not new covenant teaching. Many people will automatically say they speak truth but they do not know what they are talking about. I would certainly look into it. I would not pass her off as a nit-wit of some kind. I would talk to her about it. I would talk with her about the advantages of large and small churches. In small churches, you will get to know someone better. In large churches. you see a lot of the backs of necks of people and get back in the car and wonder why you have come.
Bob: Okay, brother. Does that help, Mark?
Bob: Just be real sensitive. Find out where she is coming from, for she may be right on.
Mark: Thank you.
Julian: I was recently saved listening to a preacher talk. He said that nobody in church can be guaranteed of their salvation. That kind of struck me as a false statement. I wanted to ask you what you think about that?
Bob: Well, I do not know the context of why he would have been saying that. Obviously we do not know who is saved and isn’t. The only person who knows you are saved is you and God. The only person who knows I am saved is me and God. There are a lot of manifestations that I would say the people we talk to here are saved as saved can get. But who really knows that truth is his maker, who is God. If that is what he is talking about, that is one thing.
Bob: But if he is talking about people losing salvation, saying you have not worked hard enough or maybe you are sinning and not able to go into the presence of God, then that is heretical teaching.
Julian: I know about my relationship with God. When I heard the preacher say, basically, if we cannot be guaranteed of salvation, then what can we be guaranteed of?
Bob: Maybe he is teaching you can lose your salvation?
Julian: I do not think that is what he was trying to say?
Bob: What denomination is it?
Bob: Well, if it is a typical Baptist church, he certainly would not be teaching you can lose your salvation. So it must be something else he is talking about.
Julian: I think what he was getting at was about losing salvation in that you must be careful and guard it. By your actions you could lose salvation.
Bob: I thought you just said he was not teaching you can lose it? If he is saying you can lose salvation, he is really out to lunch.
Bob: Julian, again, having no idea where he was talking about, so that is why it is a very difficult subject to discuss. But if talking about losing salvation, you cannot lose what God gave to you.
1 John 2:19
19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
Bob: You can certainly have that, people who are professors but not possessors. When they leave, it is because they were never there. But as far as salvation that God did for you and me, he took away the sins of the world. He took away eternally the cause of spiritual death. He did not cover sin. He took them away from the eyes of God eternally. Sin is the cause of spiritual death. So once he gave up his life in order to lose that life or to enter into a spiritual death, it would have to be a sin that had not been taken away and there is no such thing. The reason that I have eternal life is because of the eternal consequence of the cross, where He took away eternally the cause of spiritual death, which is sin.
Bob: A man teaching you can lose salvation does not know what salvation is.
Julian: I am guaranteed of my own salvation. That statement he made struck me as odd and false.
Bob: It might have been out of context. It might be worthwhile asking him about it, in a loving way, to check with him just to see.
Julian: Thank you very much for your opinion and your help.
Bob: You are sure welcome, brother. Bye now.
Carl in GA
I was talking to a young man and he was saying that he is saved but the other guy he was speaking to is not and so he has power over him. How do you know that man is not saved? You can tell by the fruit he bears. I was telling him that is not an indication if someone is saved. Can you help me with that, Bob?
Bob: I think you are dealing with a person that would be a very difficult person. First, they are judging what fruit is and what fruit is not. What you said was a hundred percent true.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Bob: It is not going to church and tithing with a smile on your face, and tucking the bible under your arm and quoting scripture to people. There is no law. It is all grace. That is the fruit of the Spirit. Fruit could also be sharing Christ with other people, In other words, the bearing of fruit would be leading people to Christ and talking to people about Christ. Both of those things can be considered fruit of the Spirit.
Bob: But we should not be sitting around analyzing it. If I compare my fruit with your fruit, the bible says a man who compares himself by himself is a fool.
2 Corinthians 10:12
12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
Bob: The reason you are a fool is because of one of only two things that can happen. One, I am better than you are and that is total pride and the other thing is I am worse than you are, and that is self condemnation and both of those things come from the pits of hell. Comparing ourselves is not biblical and that seems to be what he is doing. He seems to be a guy that it would make no difference what you said. He is self righteous. Obviously, he thinks he is in good shape or he would not be saying what he was saying.
Bob: The fruit of the Spirit is love. When you take a look at what is in the scriptures about love, the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Bob: If we do not love one another we are just a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal. Without love we are nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Bob: That is what God said. So what I like to do with people like that is ask this. “Do you agree with me that the fruit of the Spirit is love and love is really the fulfillment of the entire law? And if you do not have love then it makes no difference if you had peace and all the rest of them. Do you agree with me on that? So let us go to 1 Corinthians 13 and see how you are doing, the one who wants to condemn people by their fruit and look and see how you are doing?”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
Bob: Where you see love, put the word, “I am always” to it. I am always patient. I am always kind. I am never envious, especially if someone gets a promotion and I do not. I am never boastful. I am not telling people how holy I am. I am never proud, never rude, never self seeking. I am always looking after others interests over and above myself. I never get easily angered. I keep no records of people’s wrongs. Do you need to go on? Take a look at that thing. Love is patient takes care of me.
Carl: Yes, that would do it for me.
Bob: Absolutely. That is what God is looking at.
Bob: It is not how many times going to church or tithing. How are you doing in the love department? The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Bob: So if that is the only thing that counts, then you ask, “Okay God, what is your definition of love?” He says, “Look at 1 Corinthians 13 and you will see my definition of love”. If that is all that counts then ask yourself, “How am I doing?” I answer that and say that I am not doing so well all the time. God says, “I know that, Bob, and I am not through with you yet.” I have been in Christ over forty years but there are still times I am not patient and not kind. And when I am, I have to say this, “Lord, not me, not my flesh.” There is nothing in my flesh that even represents His definition of love. The people who want to be fruit inspectors, I have great concern with a fruit inspector.
Carl: I do too, Bob. Thanks, Bob. I really appreciate that. I am going to write things down and take it to him tomorrow.
Bob: Put on your football helmet and go talk to him.
Carl: I sure will. Thanks, Bob.